Hundreds of cars were displayed in Geneva: lots of new ones, some old ones and not many pickups. Light trucks are a North American invention.
But it was amazing to realize how few cars are sold and embraced around the world. Sure, you have BMWs and Mercedes and a few Rolls and Bentleys. And we can't leave out Volkswagen, which probably started the whole thing decades ago.
We might be able to call the Model T the first world car. Ford started exporting and then building them around the world not long after they became successful in the United States.
But in the postwar era, there is no doubt that the VW Beetle was hugely successful around the world.
I used to make a distinction between a world car - one that seemed to be Everyman's car - and a German or English or Italian car that people wanted to buy around the world.
I'm not so sure that it matters anymore. Automakers build them in their home market and ship them around the world to wherever anyone wants to buy them. It seems simple - not the execution, the concept.
It is amazing, therefore, to look at all the cars that are not appealing outside some economic or geographic boundary. At a regional show such as Geneva, most of the cars on display certainly are not seen at the Detroit show.
An amazing number of manufacturers don't distribute their cars in the United States. Peugeot, Renault, Fiat, Opel and Ford of Europe all sell millions of cars in Europe, but not here.
And the reverse is true. The number of cars that General Motors, Ford and the Chrysler group sell in Europe is just a drop in the bucket.
It's tougher and tougher to build a world car in volume.
It might be a lot easier to sell specialty cars around the world, but when you get into the hundreds of thousands, it becomes difficult.
Tastes are too different; roads are too different; shipping and taxes are too different. Finally, there still are some rather dramatic differences in safety, emissions and fuel economy regulations.
That's why motor shows on different continents are so interesting. You see a lot of cars that you otherwise might never see.